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‘Adele’ Kicks off Cannes’ European Film Week in Buenos Aires

Thierry Fremaux hosts highly-popular film season

BUENOS AIRES – In May, much of the world goes to Cannes. Outside May, Cannes goes to much of the world.

Exhibit A: One of the most established of Cannes’ increasingly far-flung initiatives: Ventana Sur’s 5th European Film Week in Buenos Aires, which bows Tuesday at the Argentine’s capital’s central Gaumont Cinema with a likely SRO screening of Cannes 2013 Palme d’Or winner “Adele: Chapters 1 & 2.”.

“Adele” director Abdellatif Kechiche, co-lead Adele Exarchopoulos and fellow cast Jeremie Laheurte and Mona Walravens will attend to present “Adele,” which has a second outing for the general public next Saturday.

Unspooling Dec 3-10, the European Film Week also highlights Un Certain Regard hit “Miele,” the feature directorial deb of Italian actress Valeria Golino (“Rain Man,” “Hot Shots”) which was produced by actor Ricardo Scarmarcio for Buena Onda and RAI Cinema, the film arm of the Italian broadcaster.

The euthanasia-themed “Miele” stars Jasmine Trinca as a punkish lost-soul angel of death administering fatal drugs to the terminally ill, for wads of cash.

Three Cannes competition standouts – Paolo Sorrentino’s “The Great Beauty,” an ode to Rome’s grandeur and decadence; “Borgman,” Alex van Warmerdam’s genre-grafting social satire/home invasion thriller; “Young & Beautiful,” François Ozon’s exploration of the physical transformations of youth –  also make the cut.

A hugely ambitious – and for most critics exhilarating –  three-hour narrative arc of a love relationship which help shape a life, “Adele” looks like one highlight of the Film Week, indeed of Ventana Sur.

Targeting families with animation and youth audiences with its action fare, Hollywood dominates Latin American box office far more than Europe’s. North American movies market share customarily runs well North of 80% in Argentina. European movies are lucky to reach 5%. The highest-grossing European film in Argentina this year was “The Impossible,” ranking No. 37th with a $2.0 million gross for indie distributor Alfa.

Select auteurs, often Cannes-endorsed, such as the Dardenne brothers who received a rock-star reception at the Film Week two years back, can still, however, make an impact in Argentina. Showcasing five premieres for Argentina, the European Film Week is an attempt to leverage Cannes imprimatur, plus the pizzazz of Fremaux and a director’s presence, aiding distributors as they open some of this year’s most talked about art movies there to have more films beyond Hollywood blockbusters draw crowds in a fast-growing Latin American market.

To that extent, it’s Cannes brand extension, but for the immediate benefit of third parties.

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